You want to get it right when you make a big investment, so is it with buying computers. Buying a computer for your home office or startup enterprise can be confusing with lots of different options available.

It can be quite difficult to figure out the technical needs of your enterprise, the specifications required and most importantly keep to your budget limitations. It’s very possible that some simple maintenance or a component upgrade can boost the performance of your existing computer and extend it’s life.

This guide will help you with what to look for when buying a computer and give you an idea about the questions to be asked when shopping for a computer.

How will the Computer be used?

When buying a new computer, one of the most important things to consider is how you will actually put it to work.

Or in other words, what sort of work will you be doing? Routine office tasks like checking email, creating documents and spreadsheets and browsing the Internet? Or more intensive work with images, audio, or video? Media related work tends to be resource-hungry and definitely requires a more robust configuration.

Whether you’ll be using the computer in the office or while traveling?

Most importantly, what operating systems do you generally use? Modern operating systems, including Windows tend to hog a lot of your computer’s resources. So if you only possess the minimum hardware standards for using an OS, you may not have much computing power left over to do anything else effectively.

This also goes for the software you’ll be using. Certain software will only work with a certain type of computer or OS.

Most hardware and software come in 32-bit and 64-bit versions. Modern computers generally come with 64-bit hardware, and you will be able to run both 32-bit and 64-bit software on it.

The choice between Mac and PC

Both systems have their merits. Macs and PCs are equally powerful, with the main difference being the operating systems they use: Macs run OS X, and PCs run Windows or Linux.

Some software are exclusive to the OS. So make sure the software you plan on using is compatible with your new computer’s OS.

Macintosh computers are more expensive off the shelf than a similar PC. However, some argue that the Macs have a longer life in general while the long-term cost for a PC is actually higher, due to upgrades and maintenance costs.

How does a new computer fit in with your existing systems?

The more similar all your computers are, the easier your systems will be to handle. So if you have different types of computers, running different OS and software, troubleshooting and maintenance will become much more complicated.

What about the future? Do you plan to upgrade your systems or add new OS/software? Do you plan to take on different kinds of tasks in the near future?

So it’s better to plan beforehand whether you intend to have a Mac- or PC-centric office and whether or not it’s worth switching to another for some or all computers.

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